Driving a truck, whether you are a freelancer or you work for a company, can be a great experience. You are out on the open road, and you are essentially your own boss. It’s a good way to make a living, and it can actually be quite a bit of fun. However, when you are behind the wheel of a big rig, or even a smaller truck, you need to be aware of the dangers involved. The vehicle is heavy, and it doesn’t control like a car. This means you need to pay even more attention to the basic safety tips and rules of the road. Let’s look at some of the most important safety rules you need to remember.
Don’t Drive Distracted
Never talk on your cell phone when you are driving a big rig. Be careful about eating when you are behind the wheel as well. Anything that you do that takes your mind off of the road and everything that’s happening around you is going to be a distraction.
Remember and Be Careful of Your Blind Spots
Always keep your blind spots in mind – to the side of the front of the cab, behind the mirrors on the side, and right behind the truck. Many of the other vehicles on the road aren’t aware that they are in your blind spot, and most actually don’t even think about it. You always have to be aware that there could be a vehicle there. Be very careful when you turn or change lanes.
Adjust Your Speed
When you enter a work zone, you need to slow down. When you are driving through city or suburban streets, you need to do the same, and you need to expect the unexpected. By slowing down, it can make stopping easier. You won’t stop on a dime, but you will have more control. You will also want to reduce speed when you are taking curves.
A common cause of accidents among truck drivers is driving while they are tired. This is the same as driving distracted or driving drunk. Your reflexes are slowed, and you could fall asleep behind the wheel. When you are tired, get off the road.
Keep the Truck Well-Maintained
Another important tip is to make sure that you keep your vehicle in great condition. This means changing the oil, checking the tires, making sure the brakes work properly, and more. Inspect your vehicle each day and make repairs or bring your truck in for service as needed. Do not neglect the maintenance of your vehicle, as it can increase your risk of an accident.
As you can see, these are some basic, common sense tips. However, they are very important, and there are many drivers out there each day who neglect them for one reason or another. Pay attention on the road, be safe, and you will have a great career.